Farmer Dale's Red Pickup Truck

Overview

Farmer Dale is hauling a load of hay into town when, one by one, he meets some bossy barnyard animals looking for a lift. The kindly farmer lets them all squeeze in, but then his trusty truck breaks down and everyone is stranded. That is, until they get over their differences and pull together to get that old red rig moooooving again.

Full of raucous, rhythmic language, this exuberant story is certain to ...

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Overview

Farmer Dale is hauling a load of hay into town when, one by one, he meets some bossy barnyard animals looking for a lift. The kindly farmer lets them all squeeze in, but then his trusty truck breaks down and everyone is stranded. That is, until they get over their differences and pull together to get that old red rig moooooving again.

Full of raucous, rhythmic language, this exuberant story is certain to become a read-aloud favorite with families and children everywhere.

One by one, Farmer Dale picks up animals who want a ride to town in his rickety old pickup truck.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cozy . . . [A] cheerful ride."—Booklist

"A practically perfect read-aloud . . . This is one ride readers will look forward to taking over and over."—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wheeler (Uncles and Antlers, reviewed Sept. 27) introduces Farmer Dale, a neighborly sheepdog hauling a load of hay in the back of his red truck. Along the way, the hero accommodates a hitchhiking, imperious cow. But when he goes on to pick up a dapper sheep wearing a straw boater, a pig on roller skates and an accordion-playing nanny goat (each resents the presence of the others) the poor old pickup spits, sputters, coughs, wheezes, hiccups and finally peters out: "The truck bounced up. The springs all popped./ The bumper bumped. The pickup stopped." Can Farmer Dale count on the freeloaders to help out? As Bates (who teamed up with Wheeler on One Dark Night) builds up to the story's big moment, his crayon and watercolor pictures echo scenes from a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. The seeming effortlessness and fluidity of the compositions play counterpoint to the outlandishness of the situation and the comic pettiness of the characters. But the spirit of cooperation triumphs as a hearty joint push gets the truck rolling again. Curiously, the book then comes to an abrupt end: Farmer Dale simply drops off his passengers at a talent contest in town and drives on. Some readers may be disappointed not to savor the animals' newfound camaraderie-or at least find out whether the goat's accordion-playing is blue ribbon-worthy. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The tale begins when a generous dog, Farmer Dale, makes room in his beat-up pickup for Cow, Woolly Sheep, Roly Pig, Nanny Goat and a cocky rooster. Predictably, the overcrowded truck fails, the animals get feisty, and then decide cooperation works better than fussing and they push the truck to town. It is a simple story, but the genius lies in the author's gift for patterns. Animals are introduced, one-by-one, in a way that reveals in equal measures a hint of their personalities, a bit of their animal nature and how the group dynamics change. After each introduction follows a bouncy refrain that begins: "The truck bounced up. The truck bounced down. It spit and sputtered toward the town." And each time an animal is added, the refrain changes to reflect the growing load. Natural conflicts and consequences, humor, animal sounds, bright drawings by Ivan Bates, and a bit of a surprise at the end blend with a perfection of words and energetic rhythms that motor the story along much more efficiently than Farmer Dale's old engine. 2004, Harcourt, Ages 3 to 6.
—Susie Wilde
Kirkus Reviews
Plenty of wordplay and a rollicking rhythm turn a predictable plot into a practically perfect read-aloud. Farmer Dale, a friendly dog, offers rides to all the animals he encounters on his way to town. When the load proves too much for his old truck, Dale gets out to push. But only when all the other animals agree to help does the truck sputter to life again. Hinted at in a vignette on the title page, the Talent Contest pictured on the final spread explains just why a singing sheep, roller-skating pig, and accordion-playing goat were among those hoping to hitch a ride. Bates's bucolic watercolor-and-wax pencil illustrations show a colorful countryside but keep the focus squarely on the anthropomorphized animals who sport hats, glasses, bowties, and other amusing accessories. Wheeler puns continuously with much of her wordplay, subtly enough to be noticed only on repeat readings. Luckily, this is one ride readers will look forward to taking over and over, allowing them to extract every bit of fun from the trip. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152059125
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 571,801
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

LISA WHEELER has written many picture books, including her first collaboration with Ivan Bates, One Dark Night. She lives near Detroit, Michigan.

IVAN BATES is the illustrator of Lisa Wheeler's One Dark Night, as well as Just You and Me and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, both by Sam McBratney. He lives in England.

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